US building standards and practices

Discussion in 'US' started by Effendi, Oct 29, 2012.

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  1. As we have started to discuss them.

    I met another Brit transplant at Universal Studios, an electrician, he said that US electrical systems are similar to European ones from the 1930's.

    From my own plumbing point of view I still can't get to grips with burying water pipes in concrete. Down in Florida you will not find any service connected to a domestic property that is buried more than a foot deep....mostly only 6 inches deep. When I had the phone installed the guy buried the cable the way that we used to bury genny cables on exercise, about three inches.

    Shingled roofs cost about the same to install here as a tiled roof in the UK, but then here you can't employ labour for much less than $120'ish an hour. I had a sparky who tried to squeeze $2000 out of me as his day rate recently.
     
  2. Was the phone cable at least armoured?
     
  3. No, only Mechanised.
     
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  4. The bastards.
     
  5. Does plastic sheathing count as armored?

    I asked what happens if I go through it whilst landscaping, the bloke shrugged and said I'd have to pay for a re-connect. I learned the hard way about the lack of depth.........by putting a spade through the mains water to the house, luckily the main shut off valve worked.

    Florida house also have no footings. They are a simple slab of concrete that, if you are lucky is 6 inches deep, newer regulations in some counties are allowing for slabs only 3 inches deep. You see cracks in floors that if they were in Europe would mean the house would be condemned, but here you get a Hispanic shrug and the comment of "it's Florida".
     
  6. No doubt this is why whole towns get reduced to matchwood in most of America's frequent episodes of extreme weather.
     
  7. Never really understood why a State blighted by hurricanes and termites would build their houses out of plywood and plastic.
     
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  8. Isn't this something to do with the fact that Florida is just one huge sandbar? A mate had a house down there with a swimming pool; he never drained it less than half-full owing to the fact that the structure would start to be pushed out of the ground within days without the weight of the water to keep it in place.
     
  9. You can build homes straight off bedrock in the UK, admittedly it's mainly granite in Cornwall!

    The problem seems to be that regulations vary from state to state, and even county differences in regulations. I don't think they have the money (certainly now), to roll out a proper set of regulations and ensure adherence. Also it has been left so long now, that standardising the US would be impossible.

    This is one of the rare things we have the EU to thank with EN codes that replace BS, DIN, etc throughout Europe.
     
  10. Yes, I have often noticed how British homes built before we joined the EEC, tumble to the ground like so many houses of cards during bad weather,
     
  11. Dude, it's FL! What else can you expect? I don't even consider it to be a real state....

    [​IMG]
     

  12. How come we join cables together with joint boxes..... and the rest of Europe join cables with sticky tape?

    No wonder the polish "plumbers" and "electricians" undercut us.

    Then if things go tits up, we go to jail..... they **** off back home, get a bent ID card in a different name and it's back to "bizness"
     
  13. Same could be said for the rest of Europe. But an item like cable will be built to the same standard, and specification, wherever you buy it. So local regulations adapt to it, bringing more standardisation. This saves Billions on large construction projects.
     
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  14. That is up to the individual Country/State to sort out compliance unless you want more EU control.
     
  15. Tbf if a hurricane or a twister rocks up a brick building isnt really going to help.
    Best plan is to get the **** out of dodge.
    Better plan is to have an underground shelter.
    Although florida is laughbly mad though mississipi and alabama make it look good.
    The theres texas whose ag is picking a fight with the oscse election monitors and the federal goverment. Even though there are only two monitors :)